Plastic Tubs to Pretty PlantersTutorial

Plastic tub to pretty planter

I seem to collect these like they are going out of fashion!

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I use them for storing all sorts of things, but there is a limit to how many plastic tubs with lids I actually need. Time to find a new use for them! We have a couple of fairly narrow windowsill at work which could use a plant or two on them, so I had a go at making planters.

First I washed them and attempted to remove the labels. One came off easy (as you can see) the other was stuck with goodness only knows and wasn't shifting no matter what I tried.*

I measured my plant pots (the ones that are going inside these, I'm not planting directly into them, they would get waterlogged) They were 8cm high so I measured 8.5cm up from the base of the tub and marked with a sharpie.

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Then I joined the marks with a line and cut along it with scissors.

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Next I lightly sanded the tubs. You only need to do this to smooth the top, I sanded the whole thing as I thought spray paint wouldn't stick but I think it would have been fine and my sanding just left annoying  little scratches **

lightly sand.jpg

Then I spray painted them gold. They had 2 coats of Rust-oleum Metallic Gold Elegant Finish (mainly because that's what I had - it is pretty good stuff though)

This is the high tech equipment I use for spray painting smallish things:

gold spray box.jpg

I just put them in the box! If it's not actually raining I take it out into the garden, I did one of these coats indoors and my youngest thought there was a gas leak :-/

From this point I did 2 different planters, so

Planter 1:

I glued 6mm sisal rope round the top in two rows using B & Q Solvent free All purpose glue. It's always hard to know what glue to use for a project, especially one with plastic. What sold me on this one was that it said on the packet "Wipe any spills immediately, once set this glue can only be removed with force" It was pretty slow to set which made it a bit messy but gave me plenty of time for adjusting the rope. 

I held them in place with clothes pegs till the glue dried (I gave it 24 hours) This was in fact the main reason why there are two rounds of rope - that's how far the clothes pegs would reach!

gold rope 1.jpg
gold rope 2.jpg

**You can see the scratches on this picture where I sanded it. I'm trying to convince myself that they add texture!

Make a pretty planter from an old plastic tub

It cost 78p per metre for the rope, everything else I already had - bargain!

I've just noticed that it looks a little bit wonky in this picture :-( 

Must be the photo because in real life it's straight!

Planter 2:

You nearly didn't get to see this one. Half way through I thought it wasn't working at all but I gave it a second chance and in the end it came out ok. Not as elegant as the other one but not awful either.

(what can go wrong)

I spread glue all over the tub then took a strip of left over voile and kind of crunched/pleated it to the tub. It was quite messy, glue went all over my fingers, and nothing seemed to be sticking. I used clothes pegs again to hold everything in place at the top and an elastic band to hold the pleats lower down. 

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Once the glue dried I trimmed the top level with the tub and folded the fabric round the bottom under added a load more glue and secured it with a piece of card. I recommend cutting your card first, drawing round your tub before you start any decorating. I didn't and had to wing it with the shape, which is why it's a bit wonky. 

I left this to dry overnight by placing it the right way up on some scrap card with some heavy bottles in it to press the base/fabric/card layers.

wrapped fabric 4.jpg

A little bit of cord tied round finished it off nicely.

fabric wrapped finished.jpg
Turn an old plastic tub into a planter

On reflection a silver paint under this fabric would have been better, next time maybe!

* to remove the labels I tried my normally trusty bottle of  "sticky stuff remover", peanut butter and soaking in hot soapy water. Anyone got any more ideas?


I'll be linking up at all these great link parties